A vegan diet can relieve angina symptoms

January 16, 2014

After a quadruple bypass in 2004 and then angioplasty and stent surgery in 2010, former President Bill Clinton switched to a nearly 100 percent vegan diet.  Clinton made this change in diet after being contacted by Dr. Dean Ornish, author of “Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease,” who convinced Clinton that “the moderate diet and lifestyle changes he had made following his surgery didn’t go far enough to prevent his heart disease from progressing.”

Conversations with Dr. Ornish along with the trailblazing work of Cleveland Clinic surgeon Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. led Clinton to embrace a whole foods vegan diet.  As a result Clinton lost a significant amount of weight, returning to his high school weight.  Clinton said in an interview for AARP Magazine in the July 2013 issue, “I have so much more energy now!  I feel great.”

The Healthy Geezer column on angina that appeared in the Cape Gazette Dec. 31, failed to mention diet as a treatment for people diagnosed with angina. Mr. Cicetti mentioned medications such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and nitrates to help relieve angina. He also discussed surgical options such as angioplasty, stents and bypass surgery. Diet was absent from Mr. Cicetti’s list of treatment options.

These doctors make a compelling case that diet can not only prevent heart disease but can actually reverse it. In his book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” Dr. Esslstyn makes the point that nearly all of the $250 billion spent annually on heart disease in the U.S. is devoted to treating symptoms, not the underlying cause.

Dr. Esselstyn states that by abandoning the toxic American diet and embracing a whole-foods vegan diet with no processed oils that “total arrest of clinical progression and significant selective reversal of coronary artery disease can be achieved.” In his book Dr. Esselstyn describes his 12-year study of the effects of nutrition in severely ill patients. He states that “in fully compliant patients we have seen angina disappear in a few weeks.”

Dr. Esselstyn’s book is featured in the documentary “Forks Over Knives”, which makes a persuasive case for how a whole-foods plant-based diet can save your life.

Don and JoAnn Szczepkowski
Rehoboth Beach

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